how the years go by...

2002 was only 4 years ago… its unbelievable how time flies, how things change, how many things, people, and memories we remember and how many we forget… sub7anAllah… its amazing how many memories come back when seeing pictures or watching movies…

reminds me of this verse (18:49):

و وضع الكتاب فترى المجرمين مشفقين مما فيه و يقولون يا ويلتنا ما لهذا الكتاب لا يغادر صغيرة و لا كبيرة إلا أحصاها و وجدوا ما عملوا حاضرا و لا يظلم ربك أحدا

on a slightly related note, can someone suggest some open source or freeware software for taking an mpg (that is made of just still pictures and some video clips) and pulling the pictures and videoclips out?

a quranic aim bot

so i was a little bit bored today, and i wanted to write a simple quranic aim bot just for fun… so i took a look at Net::Oscar off cpan and at a sample bot, wrote a sample alpha api to allow searching over quranic realm, and the result:

(02:06:20) ahmed: 3:1

(02:06:21) chisaikaruma: match: ayah=“1” Transliteration: Alif-lam-meem Sahih International: Alif, Lam, Meem.

(02:06:23) ahmed: say if you love Allah

(02:06:24) chisaikaruma: match: sura=“3” ayah=“31” percent=“100” Transliteration: Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” English: Qul in kuntum tuhibboona AllahafattabiAAoonee yuhbibkumu Allahu wayaghfirlakum thunoobakum wallahu ghafoorun raheem

(02:06:42) ahmed: bismillah alrahman alraheem

(02:06:43) chisaikaruma: match: sura=“1” ayah=“1” percent=“84” Transliteration: Bismi Allahi arrahmani arraheem English: In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. match: sura=“27” ayah=“30” percent=“84” Transliteration: Innahu min sulaymana wa-innahu bismiAllahi arrahmani arraheem English: “It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): ‘In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful:

i am not quite sure as to whether or not i can send utf8 strings over this or not… i couldn’t get arabic results to work from the tiny bit i tried. it still needs some work, but its just a for-fun prototype/proof of concept. i think the greatest benefit was being able to put together an alpha version of an quranic realm api for future use.

i’ve taken it down for now… and by the way, for those of you wondering about the name, “chisaikaruma” comes from “chisai karuma” (ちさい かるま) in japanese, which means “small car.”

some people frustrate me...

while working on y! answers, i sometimes go to the homepage and have a particular question catch my eye. sometimes, i can’t help but wonder, “what are these people thinking…”

here’s one recent example: . can a muslim be a good american? – totally ridiculous question, read it through and you’ll see what i mean. the guy lists a bunch of stereotypes and unresearched ideas to reach a conclusion at the end that:

“Therefore after much study and deliberation….perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both “good” Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish….it’s still the truth..”

yeah…

its just a crayon...

“imagine yourself in this situation… imagine that you’ve just gotten onto a bus. a few people got on before you, and a few people get on after you. after a while, the bus stops, and a man and 2 young kids get on the bus. the kids start running around and bothering the passengers, taking people’s hats and hitting the people on the bus and so on. the man, presumably the father, sits there staring into space seemingly not caring about what his kids are doing… now imagine yourself in this situation… how will you feel?”

”… you would feel annoyed at the kids, and annoyed or perhaps angry at the man for letting the kids bother everyone without even making the slightest effort to stop them… now suppose that this goes on until a man sitting next to this man turns to him and says, ‘excuse me, sir, your kids are running around and bothering the people on the bus… would you please ask them to stop?’ - to which the man answers, ‘oh.. i am really sorry, i wasn’t paying attention. we just came from the hospital, their mother just died…’ – now how do you feel?”

”… the situation didn’t change, but the way you feel suddenly changes… the kids may still be running around, but now you are no longer annoyed and angry, you feel compassionate and merciful. why? because when you compare the small annoyance of the kids against something as big as death, it doesn’t really matter anymore.”

this was from a talk given at mca on friday entitled, “weathering the storm - virtues of patience.” the talk was given by sheikh abdul bary yahya, who is masha’Allah an amazing person and sheikh. friday was the first time i had the honor of meeting him and listening to him.

to my non-muslim friends: as you may have been able to tell by the first story, a lot of the stuff in the talk doesn’t necessarily apply for muslims only - they are mostly general stories with lessons that can be taken by everyone. as thus, it maybe worth your while to read this too.

by the way… i should mention that whatever is in italics and quotes is not really quoted… its more of paraphrased. so anything that’s wrong here is due to my shortcomings and/or misunderstanding.

”… (sh. muhammad alshareef) once gave me a very good example about patience. he said that sometimes, he would have to teach kids (in sunday school for example). and sometimes, he’d have to teach really young kids. so sometimes, he would teach them, and other times, he’d let them color for example. and sometimes, he wouldn’t have enough crayons to go around for the whole class, and so sometimes, the kids would have to share the crayons.”

”… and almost everytime, two kids would want to color something using the same color. the kid who didn’t get the color he wanted would run to him crying and screaming because the other kid got the crayon… and the whole while , he’s thinking to himself, ‘… but its just a crayon…’”

”… and that’s the point… to the kid, its a big deal, because the kid doesn’t see the big picture. to his teacher, who sees the big picture, he realizes that its not a big deal… so how do we know that the things that make us cry from the bottom of our hearts and make us really sad are not just a crayon in the eyes of God? many times, if we saw the big picture, we too would realize that, ‘hey… its just a crayon..’”

i’ll skip the next part and come back to it at the end, because it talks about how a muslim is to view these hardships of life. i’ll continue on to one of the important ways he mentioned as to how to build patience.

”… so lets say there’s something in specific that makes you lose your patience and that you want to be more patient the next time that happens. say for example you got angry at your wife or kids, and that you don’t want to do that anymore. how do you become patient in these situations?”

”… you identify the situation, and make intention that the next time this thing happens, i will not get angry for example. how does that make a difference? consider, for example, if an earthquake were to happen, and you’d never thought about it or been in one before… what would you do? you would not know where to go… should i go outside, should i stay inside, should i go under the table… what should i do? essentially, you would end up running around in circles because the earthquake happens so suddenly that you don’t have time to react and think properly as to what to do…”

”… but now suppose that you sat down right now and devised a plan. ‘if an earthquake happens and i am in this place, i’ll do this. if i am in this place, i’ll do that. if i am outside, i’ll do this.’ – then once the earthquake happens, your mind will promptly pull the right course of action into active memory and you’ll begin executing that preplanned task. and the same applies with patience.”

i personally never thought of this. and maybe that’s why there are situations where i fail to react the correct way, because they happen so suddenly and i don’t have a plan for how to handle them. so i thought this was really good advice.

“there are three types of patience. patience with respect to hardships or calamities, patience with respect to doing good things, and patience with respect to staying away from bad things. for the believer, there’s the hadith of the Prophet (salla Allahu 3alayhi wa salam which says):”

_“Strange is the affair of the Mu’min (the believer), verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu’mmin.” [Muslim] _

”… also, everything that harms a believer, even if its being pricked by a needle, erases sins and gives good deeds… sometimes the hardships that happen are tests in order to raise a person’s levels and erase their sins. and sometimes, they are a punishment for something a person has done, in hopes that this thing will bring the person back to Allah.”

so that was roughly it. i probably missed several points but i basically documented whatever i remembered. may Allah grant us patience, and may Allah reward sheikh abdul bary.

also, please make du3a2 for my grandmother, who passed away on saturday. “إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون”

lebanon video

this 9 minute video is sub7anAllah. its george galloway in a skynews interview about the invasion of lebanon. worth watching.

sometimes...

sometimes, magnifying the small things people may do for you and forgetting all what you’ve done for them can cause you to shoot yourself in the foot…

sometimes, if you’re too nice to people, they won’t hesitate to take advantage of you…

sometimes, people will make false assumptions based on some set of appearances, and no matter what evidence you may bring them to show them that they are wrong, they will never accede to your explanation…

sometimes, the only thing between people and what they really want is the people themselves…

save lebanon!

i couldn’t find a better way to word it than my dear brother’s words:

As the Israeli oppression spreads beyond their own supposed borders, it does not seem that there is any intention to cease their attacks on innocent civilians, Muslim, Christian, and otherwise. This kind of oppression is unprecidented in that it is being condemned by the entire international community, yet no serious action is being taken.

please visit http://www.saveleb.org to find out how you can help, or other such organizations such as life and islamic relief. finally, let us all try harder to keep our brothers and sisters in our prayers, because this is the least we can do.

weather perfect for walking

so aside from this weekend (which was insane – temperatures here reached 104 this weekend, but i hear this only happens for 2 weeks in the summer after which the weather becomes normal again), the weather has been incredible this week. sure, its a little warm during the day, but after 3asr time, the weather becomes nice and cool, as if it were fall. the weather is so nice that it just feels wrong to be inside, so you find yourself walking outside, and you see tons of people walking outside too…

where is the machni?

i’ve gone to at least 3 desi places since i’ve arrived here. and i’ve noticed one thing… the east coast “machni” dishes and the west coast ones are different.

i asked for “chicken machni” (more commonly known as ‘buttered chicken’) at 3 different places - place #1 gave me something that looked similar to chicken machni but didn’t taste anything like it. i tried at place #2, and they gave me something that tasted like chicken machni but looked different (brownish sauce rather than a reddish/orangish oily sauce). i tried asking at place #3, and they said, “it’s sort of chicken machni but not really” – so i said, “well wait, do you have paneer machni?” – the said, “yeah” – and i got a paneer machni dish that tasted like paneer machni but looked like cholay.

the paneer machni i make at home (courtesy of the teachings of one famous achinb) comes out reddish/orangish after adding the shan masala… so does the paneer/chicken machni you get at restaurants in the east coast… so what’s up with that?

at mca...

sheikh muhammad jibreel’s brother leads fajr at mca (the masjid close to my apartment). how cool is that?